Mayor London Breed on Juneteenth
“Today San Franciscans come together to celebrate Juneteenth, the day commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. For the first time, this monumental day has been recognized as a national holiday that will forever commemorate the lives and struggle of those who have come before us. Growing up as a Black woman in the Fillmore, Juneteenth has always been a special day for me. I remember cowboys riding their horses through crowds of performers, both young and old, re-enacting the emancipation of our ancestors. Celebrating this day with my community always made me feel part of something larger than myself.
Juneteenth is not just a reminder of our history of being enslaved and our prolonged struggle for equality; it's a celebration of the contributions Black San Franciscans have made to the City we all love. It's about our grandparents, who migrated from the Jim Crow South, worked tirelessly, and helped build our City's economy. It's about the legacy of jazz in the Fillmore that paved the way for today's artists and musicians. And it's about San Francisco's fighting history to ensure racial and economic justice for all Americans.
In May of last year the systemic injustice emanating from hundreds of years of racism and mistreatment of Black Americans was put into plain view when we witnessed the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the police. While we're now a year removed from the mass protests that erupted across the country and the world, I have not forgotten about the challenges that our Black community continues to face.
We have taken bold steps to fight racial injustices facing our City’s declining Black working class. Investments like the Dream Keeper Initiative, which will provide an annual investment of $60 million to help support Black residents, communities, and businesses. I understand that funding alone will not heal generational wounds of disinvestment and economic inequities. But I can assure you that I will continue to work every day to make San Francisco a safe place for every individual, regardless of their skin color.
As we celebrate Juneteenth this year, let us remember those we have lost to injustices and inequality. In a city that prides itself on embracing diversity, promoting inclusion, and being a beacon of hope, we must do better living up to these standards. For too long, Black lives in America have been overlooked. We must demand justice and work to change the systems that have kept so many of our friends and family members pinned down, and we must support and empower one another as we build a just and equitable country that we can be proud to call home.”